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Overseas and Off-Campus Programs

Spain Alicante

Semester: Fall, Spring, or Full Year
Date(s): Fall: late August to mid December. Spring: early January to mid May.
Offered: Annually
Program Focus: Language Intensive


Two 300-level Spanish courses, cumulative GPA of 3.0 and a 3.0 GPA or better in the language.                                                                  
Campus Contact:

Matthieu Raillard
Associate Professor of Hispanic Studies
ext. 7472

Program Design:
Lewis & Clark offers this program though the Council on International Educational Exchange (CIEE) and the Universidad de Alicante.

The Universidad de Alicante is one of Spain’s newest universities and is located three miles outside the city of Alicante. Established to serve the higher education needs of the province of Alicante, the Universidad de Alicante offers its 35,000 students the benefits of a modern campus with an international atmosphere. The CIEE Study Center is located next to the Faculty of Education and one of the residence halls on the northwest extension of the main campus in San Vicente. This location provides students direct access to university facilities.

With a growing population approaching 350,000, Alicante has experienced a development boom and rapid population growth. Students will see modern architecture and Internet cafés alongside historic buildings, and shopping malls next to centuries old open-air markets.

Homestays—Students live in Spanish-speaking homes where all meals are provided. Each home accommodates one student. Homestays are the optimal housing arrangement because of their contribution to the program’s goals of language and cultural immersion. In the homestay, each student is considered a member of the family and has the same rights and responsibilities as other family members. Homestays are located throughout the Alicante downtown metropolitan area-anywhere within a maximum 30-minute commute to the study center via public transport-with access to public transportation that students take to and from the University. Students should expect to use public transportation two to four times per day.

Requirements Fulfilled:
Fulfills the two-course international studies and overseas study requirement for the Hispanic Studies major, the World Languages Major with Spanish as the primary language.

16-18 credits per semester.


Students begin their study abroad experience in Alicante even before leaving home by participating in a CIEE online pre-departure orientation. The resident director meets with students online and shares information about the program and site, highlighting issues that alumni have said are important, and giving you time to ask questions. The online orientation allows you to connect with others in the group, reflect on what you want to get out of the program, and learn what others in the group would like to accomplish. CIEE’s aim for the pre-departure orientation is simple: to help you understand more about the program and identify your goals.

During the mandatory, three-day, on-site orientation, you’ll be introduced to the country, culture, and academic program, and provided practical information about living in Alicante. The orientation seeks to inform you of issues relevant to your experience and help you make a gradual transition to Spanish life. A range of topics including housing and family life, cultural differences, health and safety, academic and social goals, gender and race issues, academics, and academic policies are covered. The orientation includes both structured cultural activities and independent sightseeing. Ongoing support is provided on an individual and group basis throughout the program.

The Liberal Arts study abroad program is designed for students who have completed a minimum of five semesters of university-level language instruction in Spanish and achieved an advanced level of proficiency prior to participation. Students take a combination of CIEE courses designed specifically for advanced language students and regular university courses at the Universidad de Alicante (UA).

UA courses are lecture style. Teaching methods in the Spanish university system are different from those in the U.S. Professors provide students with an extensive bibliography in the course syllabus, and it is expected that students make reference to these readings in their exams. It is the students’ responsibility to demonstrate that they can intelligently analyze and discuss themes mentioned in class lectures, in addition to citing secondary sources and outside readings recommended by the professor.

The CIEE fall semester starts in late August and exams for CIEE courses take place the week before Christmas. The official Universidad de Alicante fall semester begins in early September and runs through mid-January with a two-week break for Christmas. The CIEE spring program begins in early January with final exams for CIEE courses given at the end of May. The official Universidad de Alicante spring semester begins in mid-January and runs through late May or early June. For fall and spring courses early exams may be arranged, but CIEE can neither facilitate nor guarantee this for all UA courses. All Liberal Art study abroad students must take one regular university course.

CIEE courses are scheduled Monday through Thursday. Teaching methods in CIEE courses are a combination of lecture and interactive styles. It is important to understand that the program takes place at a Spanish University with native Spanish instructors, and therefore students may notice differences in teaching styles.

Although extracurricular activities and personal travel contribute to the student’s overall European experience, attendance in class is mandatory and absences affect final grades. Early departure for, or late return from, vacations is not allowed. Any extended travel should take place prior to the start of the program, during the semester break, or upon completion of the program.

Students take part in the CIEE Community Language Commitment by speaking Spanish at all times (except in emergencies). This fosters a learning community that contributes to both Spanish language proficiency and understanding of Spanish society.

Through the Liberal Arts study abroad program in Alicante, students can also opt to be part of the QUIJOTES language commitment project by which they agree to speak in Spanish at all times. QUIJOTES students have additional benefits (excursions, activities, and extra credit for the language courses) in order to foster the language commitment.

The resident program director in Alicante is Francisco Díez. Originally from Alicante, he also studied at Sheffield Hallam University and taught Spanish for two years at Michigan State University. Francisco joined CIEE in 2000 as resident coordinator at the CIEE Study Center in Alicante, where he helped develop, produce, and run the socio-cultural and intercambios programs, and the Spanish language placement test. Now, in addition to being center director, he is also the resident director of the Liberal Arts study abroad program. He speaks Spanish, English, and Catalan.

Application Process:
This program has a dual application process. Student must first submit a Lewis & Clark Application. Once admitted by Lewis & Clark, the students will receive instructions for submitting their secondary application to CIEE. Please keep a digital copy of your essays and other application materials as you will need to submit these similar materials again. Please note that this secondary application process can be as late as the semester preceding your scheduled participation.

Spain, Alicante

More information regarding travel and program preparation here. 



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